SOMA Surf Documentary

Direction Films produced its first Documentary film on behalf of our client, Shutterstock Studios and we could not be more proud of the outcome and the global reach the film has already had for such a great cause, more on how it came to be below.

Our first documentary film...

Direction Films made its documentary breakthrough back in 2022 when its client, Shutterstock UK reached out to collaborate on a very important and one of a kind project.

The aim: Create stock images and videos for the Shutterstock stock website in order to showcase black female surfers, images that was very scares prior to this project of which the proceeds goes to surf NGO called SOMA Surf on the West African island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe.

Our client, Shutterstock, together with their funding partner, Betlic, decided to also create a documentary spotlighting both female empowerment especially in Africa, but also to use as tool in a broader global campaign to put the spotlight on SOMA surf as a funding campaign to support SOMA. SOMA uplifts girls by teaching them to surf, providing after-school classes, life skills, and broadening their horizons with opportunities to travel to compete and study abroad.

Despite the immense logistical and budget challenges and a year of searching for female photographers and documentary film makers that could also speak Portuguese we managed to put a diverse team from around the world together including a talented local female documentary film maker, making her directoral debut.

The final product: An impactful film telling the story of resilience, empowerment, and hope, reaching audiences worldwide. This collaboration stands as a testament to the power of storytelling and human endeavour and we are looking forward to creating more such incredible content in the future.

An original Documentary Film - Services by Direction Films on behalf of their client Shutterstock Studios.

Proceeds from the content in this collection benefit the organization that combats gender inequality while contributing to the sustainable development of São Tomé and Príncipe.

Behind the Scenes

A behind the scenes look into the immense effort that went into creating this amazing film, from the generous funding from Betlic, the professional original producer Shutterstock Studios, the partner in Direction Film finding film makers and photographers and handling all logistics and the talented film makers and crew from the incredible female photographer from Brazil, the talented South African documentary Film Maker, the camera people, underwater videography, behind the scenes director, the amazing SOMA owners and volunteers and the heroes of the story, the girls! 



South African Producer Anco Henning (Serviced by Direction Films)
Shutterstock Studios Executive Producer: Noelia Lage Vazquez 
Shutterstock Studios UK Producer: Nailah Blissett 

Director: Ana-Filipa Domingues 
Cinematographer: Bryan Garrick Little
Underwater Cinematographer + 2nd Camera: Diogo Domingues
Sound Recordist: Khanya Cona 

Final Sound  -
Final Mix: Simon Kohler 
Dialogue Edit: David Houston 

Photographer and Videographer: Ana Catarina 
Photographer and Videographer: Thiago Theo 

Behind the scenes: Nic Eve 



Rosy Félix 
Constantina Espirito Santo
Adelyna Soares
Wazimila Lima
Letviana Lourenço
Clara Antonio

SOMA Founder & President: Francisca Sequeira 
SOMA General Manager: Rita Xavier 
SOMA Instructor Emerson Soares
SOMA Volunteer Sofia Munhá Lucas Ináclo 
SOMA Volunteer Beatriz Soares Mesquita Guerreiro Ribeiro 
SOMA Volunteer Maria Francisca de Oliveira Dias Alcoforado Corte-Real
SOMA Volunteer Matilde Da Ponte Agostinho 
SOMA Volunteer Inês Aroso Cavaca 


Cateringby DonaOrtencia Araújo (Bar-Letom)
SaoTome Coordinator: KuassaNeves
CrewDriver 1:José Carlos
CrewDriver 2:Sacramento Lopes

Using Format